Climber 101

What is a Luckey Climber?

A Luckey Climber is a safe, interactive, three-dimensional vertical maze that defines public space, encourages physical activity, and offers the sort of imaginative play experience that is important for intellectual development in children. Since 1985, Climbers have been redefining public spaces and institutions across the world. Not only are they fun attractions for kids of all ages, they have dramatically positive effects on child development such as problem-solving, spatial thinking, balance, social interaction, and cooperation.

Each Climber is a unique design and made of bent plywood or rotational molded plastic platforms, stainless steel pipes, and thousands of feet of individual vinyl coated cable. They are visually elegant works of art, part jungle gym, and once alive with children become what our founder, Thomas Luckey, called “fountains of children”.

Are Luckey Climbers Safe?

Safety is our number one concern when designing, manufacturing, and installing our climbable sculptures. We have held a spotless safety record since the foundation of Luckey LLC, in 1985 and apply stringent design constraints and principles to every Climber we make.

Specifically, there are no falls greater than 18 inches and there are no “cascades”, meaning a child cannot slide down multiple climbing panels. Platforms are also placed so that no one can stand up… and if you can’t stand up, you can’t fall down.

Each Climber is encased in thousands of feet of individual vinyl coated steel cable that is hand woven onsite to create seamless netting. Pete Fox, a Luckey “Cable Artist” once said, “The perfect Luckey Climber looks like it fell out of the sky and landed in a fishnet stocking!”

We’re always looking for better, more child-friendly materials and do everything we can to make sure all parts are soft to the touch and free of sharp edges. By sticking to our rules to prevent falls, we can be as creative as possible within the constraints.

Where Can I Find a Luckey Climber?

From outdoor parks to shopping centers, to zoos and aquariums, to schools and children’s museums, we’ve been changing how people use public spaces and transforming ordinary places into playgrounds with climbable works of art around the world. Find a Climber nearest to you here.

How are Luckey Climber's Made?

We maintain a 12,000-square foot design and fabrication facility in New Haven, Connecticut. Here, we house our digital design suite, complementary steel fabrication studio, and a 5-axis CNC mill used to shape Climber platforms.

The wooden platforms are formed using a mold, vacu-pressed, then cut into complex curves with the CNC machine. Our team of craftsmen then apply a variety of finish styles ranging from laminated photographs of the Orion Nebula to hand-stained patterns resembling fireworks. The rotationally molded, or “rotomolded”, platforms are colored from Luckey Climber’s curated Pantone color palettes.

Once the fabrication process is complete, the Luckey installation team is sent to the job site where our skilled technicians erect the steel structure, secure each individual climbing platform, and hand-weave the netting through the Climber.

Check out a recent Q&A with our design team for a more in-depth discussion on the balance of art, design, and space while creating challenging, rewarding, and safe pieces of climbable sculptures.

How Do I Get One?

The best way to start the ball rolling is to drop us a line or give us a call! We love socializing here at Luckey, and our process of building a Climber stems from very organic conversation – whether you’re ready for a Climber, want to share your favorite climbing experience, or just want to chat about space nebulae’s, we’re here!

You can reach us by phone at (US) +1 (203) 285-3819, by email at info@luckeyllc.com, or on our contract form. We’d love to chat about what it would be like to work together to build an incredible, unique playground at your space, and how a Climber can help your institution see increased foot traffic, a boost in ticket sales, or attract new visitors.